High School Sports

Connell girls book win over RV

FINLEY -- Megan Booker makes quite the zone-buster for the Connell girls.

"Coach (Dan Colby) puts me in the game, he expects me to shoot it if I'm open," the sophomore said matter-of-factly.

And when the Eagles needed a lift late in the third quarter of Saturday's SCAC East matchup with River View, Booker delivered.

She hit back-to-back 3-pointers to spark the decisive 18-4 run, propelling Connell to a 63-46 victory in Finley.

"Once they started falling in, I was encouraged to keep shooting," said Booker, who was 4-for-4 from behind the arc in the second half and finished with 12 points. "As a team, we moved the ball great tonight. We were always finding the open shooter."

The victory meant Connell will play for at least a share of the league title Thursday night when it hosts Columbia (Burbank) in the season finale.

"We only lost to Burbank by (two) earlier," Booker said. "To come this far and be this close to maybe sharing the title is very exciting."

The Eagles roared out to a 13-0 lead just 3 1/2 minutes into the game before River View recovered. The Panthers drew as close as four twice in the third quarter, the second time on Demi McGill's layup with 3:45 left that closed the deficit to 33-29.

"River View is very persistent and never let us feel comfortable," Colby said. "We got ourselves into severe foul trouble in the first half, and that affects the way you play. People were in the game at different times than they're used to."

The Panthers also went cold after McGill's basket, missing five free throws over the next 6 minutes and going 1-for-8 from the field.

River View coach Bruce Moore's frustration grew as his team's chances at victory slipped away, and he measured his words afterward.

"The second half, they turned up the intensity and played their physical brand of basketball that doesn't suit our style," Moore said.

Despite the loss, River View clinched the No. 3 district seed when Kiona-Benton lost at Burbank.

Laryn Wells led Connell with 15 points, Sarah McGary added 12 and Maci Whitby had 12 points and 11 rebounds.

Hattie Johnson scored a game-high 19 points for River View.

CONNELL -- Laryn Wells 15, McGary 12, Gibbons 5, Whitby 12, Bjorge 4, Taylor, Riner, Easterday 3, Booker 12, Withers. Totals 20-40 17-28 63.

RIVER VIEW -- Hattie Johnson 19, Smith 5, Gier 10, Hess 4, McGill 4, McCoy 2, Bender, Steagall 2. Totals 17-45 8-17 46.

Connell 18 6 15 24 -- 63

River View 7 12 13 14 -- 46

Highlights -- Con 6x13 3pt, RV 4x12; Con 31 rbs, RV 30; Con 16 TOs, RV 20; Maci Whitby 11 rbs; Wells 7 rbs; Sarah McGary 4 stls; Mallory Smith 10 rbs, 3 asts, 3 stls; Kim Gier 6 rbs, 3 stls; Demi McGill 6 rbs.

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